Friday, September 13, 2013

Photo in the Silver Bedroom

The third poem in my book "Photo in the Silver Bedroom" was actually written for a class assignment back in college, circa 1995. The teacher, Carole Stone, asked us to write a poem based on a photograph. (And by the way, Carole Stone is an amazing poet whose most recent book Hurt, the Shadow was released by Dos Madres Press in June 2013. Find it here: http://www.dosmadres.com/shop/hurt-the-shadow-the-josephine-hopper-poems-by-carole-stone/. She taught me much in the three creative writing classes I had with her [two of which were poetry writing classes], and she helped me focus on finding my voice and expanding it. I honestly don't know if my work would have become what it is today if it wasn't for her influence back then.)

So at some point nearly ten years ago or less, I rediscovered the poem and heavily revised it. I ended up liking it so much that I decided to include it in the manuscript that became Purpose and Devil Piss. And so now I want to share the photograph of me and my friend Stephanie that the poem was based on. The photo was taken in 1994 or 1995 in the "silver bedroom" at the New York City nightclub The Tunnel. The door to this room was guarded by the clubkid Sushi, so it was kind of VIP, or whoever he felt was worthy of entering. We were regulars and snappy dressers, so we always got in. I have many stories about that room and the club. At the same time that the "silver bedroom" existed, there was also a room in The Tunnel filled with yellow plastic balls that you could jump into, like one of those ball rooms at a Chucky Cheese. You can just imagine how much fun that was in the middle of the night all fucked up on something or another at a nightclub. Here's the damn photo:


And here's what my boyfriend did to the same photo after he scanned it into his computer before e-mailing it to me:


I felt that this version needed to be shared as well. I love my Divine makeup.

While thinking about this post, I also began thinking about a classmate of mine from those poetry classes. His name is Josh Humphrey, and I'm a huge fan of his work. Honestly, I still believe that I like his poetry more than three-quarters of the work I've read from others through the years since then. If there was ever a poet who deserved to get a collection of his work published it's him. His work has appeared multiple times in the Paterson Literary Review, as well as other journals. Here's a little bio I found online:

"In his richly narrative poems, Josh Humphrey crafts hauntingly evocative scenes and settings, often historical, with characters that display true emotional depth and unique points of view. His live recitations are compelling. Josh’s poetry has most recently appeared in The New Plains Review and The Talking River Review. Previous works have been published in The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Lips, The Paterson Literary Review, Soundings East, Lullwater Review, Sensations, Mentil Soup and Ibbetson Street. He was runner up in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition for 2009, and has received honorable mention for this award on three previous occasions. He won the Merlyn Girard Poetry Prize in 1999 and the ‘America at War’ Poetry Contest, sponsored by Sensations Magazine, in 2004. He was one of the inaugural co-features for the William Carlos Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, New Jersey, in January 2006."

The last thing I could find about him online was that he received an honorable mention for the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition. I just e-mailed him before writing this post so we can catch up. The last time I saw him was at a reading he did at the Cornelia Street Cafe in either 2005 or 2006. I'm hoping he'll let me post one of his poems on my blog. It seems like he's somewhat well known already, but if I can introduce him to any new readers, that would be cool.

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